station home

Rutgers University Marine Field Station

         A field facility of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences

Thomas M. Grothues (Motz)
Assistant Professor, Research
B.A., Aquatic Biology; University of California, Santa Barbara; 1988
M.S., Biology, California State University, Northridge; 1994
Ph.D. Coastal Oceanography, State University of New York, Stony Brook; 1999

My general research interests are in the mechanisms of establishment and maintenance of fish populations. Larval recruitment dynamics, dispersion, physiological ecology, invasion biology, and migration biology are all aspects of fish ecology that I wish to pursue as having a bearing on this broader field. My graduate and recent work reflects the development of this interest. With my master's thesis, I studied larval fish transport using a population genetics approach. For my dissertation, I examined the flux of larval fish around Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, an area of highly dynamic flow separating spawning and nursery grounds for several species. For that work, I used MOCNESS net collections in conjunction with oceanographic instrumentation arrays. As part of my post-doctoral fellowship, and in continuing work, I am studying the dynamics of Delaware Bay salt-marsh fish populations from larval ingress through settlement and recruitment, especially as they respond to salt marsh restoration activities. Patterns in the abundance of fishes in trawl and weir collections from restored and reference marsh creeks are studied in conjunction with patterns of marsh surface vegetation, bathymetry, disturbance history, temperature, salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and supply of potential recruits from the Delaware Bay. Most recently, I have become involved in studying striped bass migration as a mechanism for the segregation of existing populations and the establishment of new ones. This study starts with the real-time monitoring of acoustically tagged, locally caught striped bass throughout the Great Bay/Mullica River estuary by the use of a moored listening array. The first year of monitoring will look for population delineation based on seasonal (migratory) vs. year-round (resident) habitat use and forms the basis for an expansion of monitoring into multiple estuaries.



Return to RUMFS home page